For the third time in five days, the Oakland Raiders have brought back a player on an exclusive rights tender. The exclusive rights tender forces a player to sign for the veteran minimum without the option to negotiate with other teams. Brandian Ross has less than two seasons of NFL experience, not including practice squad seasons, which made him a candidate for the exclusive rights tag, which he signed today.
The 24 year-old Ross joins linebacker Kaelin Burnett and tackle Matt McCants as players who signed the exclusive rights deals with Oakland. All three spent last season with the Raiders. Ross started 13 games in 2013, in place of injured strong safety Tyvon Branch. He amassed 75 tackles, two sacks, and forced a fumble. Ross added three pass defenses and recorded a tackle in each game last year. He appeared in 14 games for the Raiders in 2012, with one start.
With general manager Reggie McKenzie's ties to the Green Bay Packer before Oakland, Ross was one of the first players he brought from his former team. Ross signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2011 and spent the season on their practice squad. He was waived after training camp the following season and Oakland brought him over in mid-September of 2012, placing him on the 53-man roster.
In the beginning, Ross was primary a special teams player, who worked his way into the rotation at safety. Then with the Branch injury, he was thrust in full time duty. With the increased playing time, Ross showed he still needs development, especially in coverage. Branch should be fully healthy to start next season, so Ross can go back to a situational safety, who can help on special teams.
Tags: Brandian Ross, exclusive rights, Football, NFL, Oakland, Oakland Raiders, Reggie McKenzie